Developmental Editing

As with any craft, the best writing appears effortless—a smooth flow of words that conveys images, tells a story, and pulls the reader, engaged and entertained, through a journey of insight and discovery. As effortless as they may appear, however, nonfiction books must be carefully constructed and organized, with:

  • the right pacing that keeps the reader involved;
  • cohesive and focused chapters that bring together core themes and content;
  • an effective chapter structure that lays out the book’s thesis in clear and compelling steps; and
  • writing that is neither confusing nor oversimplified.

The first step in the process is to identify the core themes of the book. While many authors have a general idea of the message of their book, and a variety of material to contribute to this message, many authors lack the small number of thematic pillars needed to create an organized, compelling book.

Once identified, the themes will be structured into chapters or, more often, into groups of chapters that will form the major parts of the book. There is, however, no single structural template for a nonfiction book. Some books are divided into several parts, while others have a large number of small or even micro chapters.

The next step is to develop the content, which includes outlining the individual chapters and ensuring that the content is comprehensive and clear, and flows logically from chapter to chapter.

Chris is an experienced book development editor, having worked for both authors and publishers in evaluating, restructuring, rewriting, content editing and copyediting manuscripts. Chris has edited projects in all phases of completion, from unstructured pages of writing and notes to finished first drafts. Chris has also edited PhD dissertations for publication.

If you are passionate about a subject and need a professional to transform your ideas or the drafts that you’ve written into a polished, compelling book, Chris is waiting to hear from you.


"Chris’ contribution to my manuscript for No More Pointless Meetings was significant. As a first-time author with a book contract in hand, I recognized the need for professional editorial input. While the content was solid, the presentation of that knowledge needed polishing.

"Chris provided that. The breadth and scope of his experience working with publishers and authors in the business book field enhanced the manuscript. The maturity of his insight is impressive: it encompasses both publisher production requirements and a keen understanding of editorial structure. It was a privilege to work with a master of the writing craft."

- Martin Murphy, author of No More Pointless Meetings

Chris Murray Editor